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Pulpo a la Gallega: Spanish Octopus and Potato

Pulpo a la Gallega

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  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 people 1x


Pulpo a la Gallega with virgin olive oil and cayenne pepper.


  • 1 lb octopus
  • 23 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 23 tablespoons paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Virgin olive oil


Stage 1: Cooking the Octopus

  1. Remove your octopus from the freezer and place it into a stockpot
  2. Add enough water to submerge the octopus, then bring the stockpot to a boil over high heat
  3. Here’s the fun part: you’re going to boil the octopus for 1 minute before taking the octopus out for 1 minute. After another minute, re-submer the octopus for 1 minute, then take it out for another minute. Repeat this 3-4 times
  4. Afterwards, place the octopus in the water for good and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the submerged octopus simmer and cook for 50-60 minutes. If you’d like, check the octopus every 10 minutes or so to see how the tenderness of the meat changes, but you might very well see that it starts to get really tender around the hour mark
  5. Once the octopus is cooked and tender, remove and drain of water (or keep it for a broth!). Then cut the octopus into bite-size pieces

Stage 2: Cooking the Potatoes

  1. Pre-cook the potatoes in boiling water (or in the octopus broth) for 15 minutes
  2. After 15 minutes, drain the potatoes from the water and set aside
  3. Add olive oil to a saute pan over medium-high heat, wait for oil to get very hot and then add the potatoes, garlic, onions with a big pinch of paprika.
  4. Toss the garlic and onions frequently so they don’t burn, but try to keep the potatoes in place. You want a nice golden brown crisp on the potatoes so it’s best not move them around too much, just enough to make sure they aren’t sticking to the pan.
  5. Once the garlic and onions have nice brown to them, scoop them out of the pan and put them aside while potatoes continue to cook, frying the potatoes for another 12-15 minutes in total

Stage 3: Plating your Pulpo a la Gallega

  1. Place the potatoes as the bottom layer, followed by the octopus on top
  2. Pour a splash of olive oil on top, followed by a sprinkle of paprika and cayenne for additional flavor. And there you have your pulpo a la gallega ready to serve!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 mins
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Cuisine: Spanish